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Late night sprint: Columbus comes back in Houston; Colorado, Toronto snap losing streaks

Portland Timbers against the Seattle Sounders

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri (8) blows a kiss after he scored the Timbers’ second goal of the first half against rival Seattle Sounders in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals of the MLS Cup at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland Thursday Nov. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Randy L. Rasmussen)


Major League Soccer scheduled four games with near identical kickoff times - the main reason why you’ll only see one detailed recap from the league’s late Saturday games.

Thankfully, MLS’s one-match Sunday gives us plenty of time to catch up on the day’s action. For now, though, we’ll have to content ourselves with the highlights and recaps for the three game were weren’t able to watch.

If you focused on one of these and skipped the action in Dallas, check out what happened in Frisco here. Otherwise, let’s do this together. Time to get up-to-date on what happened tonight in Major League Soccer:

Chicago 1-1 Toronto

Missed penalty kicks again cameback to hurt Chicago, though at the time Jeff Larentowicz failed to convert the Fire’s latest try (and Quincy Amarikwa hit Joe Bendik with the rebound), things didn’t look so bad for the home team. Up 1-0 in the 57th minute (after Lovel Palmer’s 11th minute opener), Chicago was looking for insurance - a cushion they didn’t need until late.

In the 89th minute, Dwayne De Rosario scavenged his first goal of the season, ending Toronto’s three-game losingstreak while casting more doubt on Chicago’s fading playoff hopes. The only silver lining for the Fire: Toronto had a late winner disallowed.

(As you’ll hear in the highlights, the reason for the “seasonal” orange at various places on Chicago’s field: Multiple football games being played recently on Toyota Park’s pitch. If this a “pro” for FieldTurf or a “con” for football on MLS fields? Ah, that pesky word “or”.)

Houston 2-2 Columbus

The Dynamo looked poised to avenge their loss in Ohio when Giles Barnes’s deft finish built on Adam Schoenfeld’s unfortunate finish into his own net, giving the home side a 2-0 lead before halftime. Nine minutes into the second half, however, that lead was gone, with a Wil Trapp drive and an Ethan Finlay header pulling the Crew even.

The take away from this match is less likely to be the score than two moments of Columbus hope that descended into controversy. In both halves, Ricardo Salazar awarded a penalty to the visitors only to wave it off after conferring with this assistants. Whereas twice rookie A.J. Cochran thought he had conceded a spot kick, twice he was left thanking Salazar’s sideline help.

Colorado 2-2 Portland

A terrible start for the Timbers was forgotten by halftime thanks to a Diego Valeri volley that blew through Steve Berner’s hands and inside the olorado keeper’s left post. In the 48th minute, however, luck shined on the Rapids when a fortunate whistle gave Dillon Powers a chance to equalize from the spot. After seven straight losses Colorado was within reach of an actual result.

That reach became a grasp in the 66th minute when a sharp-angle header from Deshorn Brown found Donovan Ricketts’ left side netting, giving Colorado a 2-1 lead. Ten minutes later, however, a Diego Valeri pass took a fortunate bounce behind the Rapids’ defense, where Gaston Fernandez was able to hold off the returning Shane O’Neill to put home Portland’s equalizer.